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Book_]lsi£iia 

GoRiightls'^—UfLi^ 

CDEffilGHT DEPOSIT. 



HAUNTS AND BY-PATHS 



HAUNTS AND 
BY-PATHS 

AND OTHER POEMS 

BY 

J. THORNE SMITH, Jr. 



^ssm^m 




NEW YORK 

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS 



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^^S^ 



Copyright, 1919, by 
Frederick A. Stokes Company 



All rights reserved 



i.>h>" ''i'\ 'b^!3 



©C1.A530944 



TO 
THE COMMODORE 

—GOD BLESS HIM! 



ACKNOWLEDGMENT 

Acknowledgment Is due to The Smart Set for 
permission to print " Autumn in the Subway " and 
also to the Broadside, In which certain of these 
poems first appeared. 



CONTENTS 

SONGS OF THE SEABOARD 

PAGE 

Sea Song 3 

Flood Tide 8 

Sailor — Sailor 10 

Dawn 12 

Sunset from the Hospital 13 

The Station 14 

Liberty Song 20 

I Saw a Ship To-day 22 

The Rocks of Loam 24 

I'LL Sing No More of the Sea 27 

THE STORM 

The Storm 31 

I The Ship 31 

II The Crew 32 

III The Beast . 32 

IV The Haven ........... 33 

BROKEN DAYS 

The Turning 37 

What Do I Know of the War? 38 

A Hill in Flanders 39 

That Doctor Fellow 40 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Soldiers Never Found 42 

To A Certain Contingent 44 

The Planes 46 

To Three Dodgers 49 

The Junker 50 

The Motherland 51 

Recompense 53 

A PoiLU Speaks 55 

By the Old Chateau 56 

The Liberators — 1918 58 

The Hand in the Sky 61 

HAUNTS AND BY-PATHS 

The Road to Chalmodie 67 

Green Lawns 70 

Near a Pine Forest 73 

Rose Gatherers of the Night 79 

Back to the Day 80 

In the Woods 82 

The Place 83 

The Little Shop That Was 84 

The Old Book Worm 87 

Autumn in the Subway 89 

To a True Prophet 90 

To A Modern Woman 92 

To THE Other Woman 94 

The Listener 98 

The Unedifying Five 99 

IDLERS 

I Must Live To-day 107 

Dusk 108 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Wayfarers 109 

Old Laughter no 

The Lost Singer , 112 

The Rhyme of the Lost Romance 113 

Wonder Refound 118 

My Wayward Goddess 119 

Dawn in the Ward 120 

To A New Day 123 

The Call 124 

Twilight Waters 125 

Leaves 126 

Three Trees 127 

Beneath the Rain 128 

Derelicts 129 

By Way of Reproof 130 

The Trucksters 133 

The Old Brick Walk 134 

The Out Road 136 

The Quest 137 



SONGS OF THE SEABOARD 



SEA SONG 

THERE are those who love the reaching 
plains 
And those who love the crags, 
And those who love the twilit woods where mel- 
ancholy Autumn lags 
On sad reluctant feet. 
And there are those who love the street 
Where arc lights sputter In the rain 
And traffic lifts a shrill refrain 
Where counter-currents surge and meet. 
But I am not of these, 
Such haunts my fancy flees 
Out to the sea, the open sea, 
The pouring, roaring, soaring sea. 
The wind-whipped, tearing, flanng sea, 
The sea that never rests. 
I love its lonely smoke-hung trails. 
Its battered hulks and singing sails, 
Its lifting, surging hills and dales 
With fleecy, foam-plumed crests. 

[3] 



SEA SONG 

I love the quiet, moon-swept sea, 

The softly breathing, star-plunged sea, 

The wistful, pleading, darkling sea 

Whose brawny spray-tipped breasts 

Roll ever onward endlessly 

Into a dim infinity, 

A misty, gray obscurity 

Beneath the trailing stars. 

I love the thrashing, smashing sea, 

The leaping, crouching, waiting sea, 

Its bitterness and ecstasy. 

Its bull-necked charges blind and rude, 

Its silence and its solitude, 

Its drifting masts and spars. 



For there are those who love to feel 
A horse beneath them as they ride 
Bespurred and decked from head to heel, 
Across the pleasant countryside; 
And there are those who roam 
Away from hearth and home 
In search of romance, wealth and fame 
To distant cities where men game 

[4] 



SEA SONG 

With human souls as pawns to win 

A gilded ease which soon wears thin 

When rubbed with life's rough hand. 

And there are those who till the land 

And those who blast the rock and stone 

And those who seek for buried spoil 

In some fast wilderness alone. 

And there are those who toil 

Their lives away in man-made caves, 

Poor harried, economic slaves, 

They fill untimely, unmourned graves 

Too weary to regret 

A world that never had been kind, 

A life not hard to leave behind. 

To finish and forget. 

* * * 

But those who ever sailed the sea 

And felt its rugged grip 

Will always turn back wistfully 

To seek another ship. 

Another ship to bear them out, the old song on 

their lips 
Across the long, green, endless waves, 

[5] 



SEA SONG 

The rolling, curling, mounting waves, 
To where the sunset dips 
And cools its flaming face In spray. 
Its ebbing colors, gold and gay 
Still lingering in the clouds, 
As one by one the windy stars 
Prick through the velvet sky 
And fire-tIp the swaying spars 
And dance among the shrouds. 
While through the swift descending night the sea- 
gulls wheel and fly. 



Thus men return unto the sea, 
Their great, gray mother on whose breast 
They labor long and valiantly 
And often find their final rest 
Beneath her foam encrusted waves 
In coral-fluted, deep sea graves, 
While calm, impassive, stern and grim 
She lifts her massive, wind-lashed head 
And chants a mighty deep-toned hymn 
In honor of her honored dead, 
A hymn that echoes through the waves, 

[6] 



SEA SONG 

The ponderous, long, green, endless waves, 

The waves that writhe and twist 

Like great, green snakes across the sea 

Into a dim infinity 

Of surging, spray-torn mist. 



[7] 



FLOOD TIDE 

IT'S a long time to flood tide, the tide when 
we pull out. 
It's twilight in the harbor now and wind is in the 

trees 
That drowse along the cobbled streets where 

couples stroll about, 
And there is the scent of tar and the hum of bees. 

It's a long time to flood tide, the tide when we 
embark. 

It's quiet in the harbor now and pleasant to the 
eye. 

There's whispering in the hidden lanes and run- 
ning through the dark. 

And there Is a broken laugh and a swift good-bye. 

It's a long time to flood tide, the tide that clears 

the port. 
The night is in the harbor now and lights among 

the spars; 

[8] 



FLOOD TIDE 

But those who wait upon the tide will find it all 

too short 
For there is an end to love in a night of stars. 

It's a long time to flood tide, the tide when we 
return. 

All silent is the harbor now, the shrouds intone a 
hymn. 

Along our lean foam-smothered sides the flame- 
touched rollers churn, 

And there is a hint of dawn and the stars are dim. 



[9] 



SAILOR — SAILOR 

SWINGING solid on his feet, 
Gaunt beneath his coat of tan, 
Children hail him in the street — 
"Hello, Mr. Sailor Man I " 
Tom or Larry, Dick or Dan, 
Ladies think him just too sweet. 
Sailor, sailor from the fleet , 
Get your pettings while you can. 
Primed for laughter, love or loot, 
Money jingling In his jeans. 
Gamins give a stiff salute 
As he pipes the dizzy queens. 
Hero of the submarines, 
*' Honest, Mamie, ain't he cute?'* 
Call that great big devil cute. 
Why the beggar scrubbed latrines I 
Golly, what a burly brute, 
Friendly as the summer sea, 
Sand Street made his nifty suit, 
Forty-eight ashore has he. 

[10] 



SAILOR — SAILOR 

Shy at times, a trifle mute, 
Always with a yarn to spin — 
" Naw, I ain't no raw recruit, 
*' Talk o' women, talk o' gin — 
" Now, when I was in Marseilles 
" I could open up your eyes — '* 
Anything from subs to whales 
Sets him off on salty lies. 
Folks can hear them every day. 
Take the tale for what it's worth, 
In his honest sailor way 
He's the salt of all the earth. 
Booming gaily down the street. 
Hat aslant upon his head. 
Looking for a place to eat. 
Earnest searcher for a bed. 
Comes a sailor from the fleet. 
Shaved and shorn and shiny red. 
He's a merry sight to meet 
When he's paid and when he's fed. 
Sailor, sailor from the sea. 
Proud beneath your Navy blue, 
Bound upon a modest spree, 
Buddy, Admirals envy you, 

[II] 



DAWN 

LAST night I stood and saw a sentry pace, 
A shadow moving through the shades of 
night, 
And as the fleeting moonbeams touched his face 

And blocked it out inscrutable and white 
Against the lifting curtain of the sky. 

He challenged Dawn; as clear toned as a bell 
Upon the waning night his lonely cry 

Reechoed through the silence, rose and fell. 
And then as if in answer to his call. 

The Eastern sky shook off her robe of stars 
And bared her coral breast, a faint, pink wall 

Behind the leafless trees that swayed like spars 
And shrouded masts of some old spectral fleet 

Along whose decks Dawn stole on silver feet. 



[12] 



SUNSET FROM THE HOSPITAL 

ACROSS the darkling bay the fresh green 
glades 
Were soft with shadows. Like a scarlet frieze 
The sunset flared, a scarf of many shades, 

Its burning fringes tangled in the trees. 
Along the sky's vast cloudless vault of blue 

A single seagull winged in graceful flight, 
And as it sailed it seemed as if it drew 

Across the earth the shadow of the night. 
How cool and quiet over there it seemed. 

The dark trees banked against the fiery wall. 
The glory of it filled my eyes. I dreamed 

My soul took wings — a haunting bugle call 
Came drifting down the wind and died away 
As I fled on and outward with the day. 



[13] 



THE STATION 

LIGHTS out!" 
— and row on yellow 
row fades out; 
Upon the low lined barracks night shuts down 
And sudden silence falls upon the camp, 
Which by the bugle calls alone Is pierced 
With quivering notes which sob and break and 

flow 
Into the mist-hung silence of the night. 
'' Pipe down ! " 

— a horde of men in canvas cased 
Turn on their sides and whisper through the dark 
To some chance comrade of the day before, 
Some pal, who like themselves, the hand of fate 
Has plucked from distant parts and peaceful ways 
And tossed into his small allotted space 
Beneath the sloping gables of the roof 
Now dipped in gloom through which strange 
visions float, 

[14] 



THE STATION 

Called from the past by man's remembering eyes 
To lull them in a deep, dream laden sleep. 

" Say, Buddy," breathes a lad, a baker's son, 

*' I got a letter from my girl who says 

She's sending up a box of cakes and stuff. 

It ought to get here by to-morrow's mail. 

So you and Jim and Mike just stick around; 

We'll divvy up and have a reg'alar feed. 

Us four, just you and Mike and me and Jim." 

And "buddy," who had owned his car and been 

The toast at many gay, resplendent boards. 

In fact a sort of " tosh " who knew New York's 

Best dining places and their brilliant throng 

And yet who never had possessed a friend 

Who freely gave and asked naught in return, 

Str9tched. out his hand across the lines and said, 

" You're on, old man, and when you're out of 

smokes 
I have a pile that's drying up for lack 
Of some one else to help me smoke them up." 

" Pipe down! " the P. O. cries; the men grow still 
And gaze into the dark with staring eyes, 

[15] 



THE STATION 

Their brains still busy with the mighty change 

The war has wrought in their once placid hves. 

They muse upon the happenings of the day 

And speculate about the days to come. 

And in their speculations memories stir 

The dust of other days — old friends appear, 

Loved faces of the past, a voice, a laugh. 

And fleeting vistas — well remembered haunts. 

Until dread loneliness weighs down the soul 

In this still battle with the Then and Now. 

Then like a strengthening draught of some rare 

wine 
A warm and friendly bit of comfort creeps 
To thrill them with a knowledge that they share 
Alike with other men their trials and hopes, 
The grip and glory of a common cause, 
A life devoted to a single end. 
In which forgetfulness of self comes first 
Along with kindness to one's fellow men. 
And thus as sleep comes on, the visions fade. 
They touch perhaps the first time in their lives. 
The spirit in the word — Democracy. 



[i6] 



THE STATION 

Now all is still. The sentries walk their posts, 
Occasionally their calls drift through the night. 
Upon the road without the world hums by; 
A honking horn is heard, a woman's laugh 
Floats like a strain of some forgotten air, 
While in their creaking hammocks dream the 

men. 
Their weary bodies yielded up to sleep. 

" Rise and shine! " 

The bugles blast the night 
Into a million agonizing bits, 
Its shattered pieces fall around the ears 
Of men too dazed by slumber save to swear 
A hardly audible yet heartfelt oath 
Against the kaiser, all his horrid works 
And every institution save sweet sleep. 

" Up hammocks, all ! " 

Six thousand pairs of feet 
Resound upon the decks, confusion reigns, 
The lashings whir and hands are thrust about 
In search of this and that much needed bit. 
Remarks are passed and some ont dares to laugh. 

[17] 



THE STATION 

In desperation one man seeks a shoe, 

Another finds it looking for his sock. 

The bugle blows again and all is dropped 

As in a swearing, tearing, laughing throng 

The men pour out into the early dawn. 

To fill their lungs with sharp, frost-kindled air. 



Wild eyed and careless, fearless, meek and proud, 

The millionaire, the farmer, poet, clerk. 

The East Side, West Side, Williamsburg and 

Bronx, 
The Southerner, the Favorite Son, the Yank, 
A crude, mad polyglot democracy 
Flows out, disgruntled, cursing-cold and glum 
To gaze in deep dejection at the stars 
Still shivering wanly in the brooding sky. 
Men need an Irishman at such a time 
To warm their flagging spirits with a jest. 
And always at such times one finds him there. 

The Station stands, a youth of mingled strains. 
Stripped to the loins, prepared, alertly poised, 

[i8] 



THE STATION 

Whose wondering eyes turned towards the wait- 
ing sea, 
Are ht with laughter, eagerness and hope — - 
Whose lips are parted in a joyous song. 



[19] 



LIBERTY SONG 

I'VE washed me neck 
An' I've cashed me check 
An' I've got me Forty-three. 
An' I'm light and gay 
As a mule in May 

For I'm.bound on liberty. 
An' I've got a date with Mamie an' I got a date 
with Sue 
An' I've got a date with Nancy an' wi' Kate 
An' I'm going to be so busy that I won't know 
what to do, 
An' I'm that confounded anxious I can't wait. 
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll. 
Roll, roll, roll along, shove off, blast yer soul I 
Good-by Buddy, an' good-by Bo, 
Me dogs are itching an' I got to go 
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll. 

* 
Me tapes are white 

An' me boots are bright 

An' me hat is stiff and straight. 

[20] 



LIBERTY SONG 

An' I've brushed me bean 
An' I've shaved blue clean 

An' the list is at the gate. 
Oh, I'm going to spend me money an' I'm going 
to spend It right 

Buying sweeties for me wild Canarsle pigs, 
An' sometime in the morning or very late at night 

I'm going to a pub and dance some jigs. 
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll. 
Roll on, roll along, shove off, blast yer soul I 

So long. Buddy, and goodi-by Bo. 

Am I happy? Well, I'll tell yer so. 
So roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll. 



[21] 



I SAW A SHIP TO-DAY 

I saw a ship to-day, 
An old ship with sails 
That sang and seemed to say: 

" We have fought with gales, 

And our lee-side rails 
Have been white with spray 
As we beat at bay 
Down the storm-swept trails, 
Where the North wind wails 
And the great seas flay." 
And I sighed and turned away — 
I saw a ship to-day. 

I saw a ship to-day. 
An old ship with sails 

That sang and seemed to say: 
" We could tell you tales 
Of a school of whales 

Where the Icebergs play, 

[22] 



I SAW A SHIP TO-DAY 

If youVe time to stay 
We have songs of nails 
And. of sweet spiced bales 
That would make you gay." 
But I sighed and turned away 
I saw a ship to-day. 



[23] 



THE ROCKS OF LOAM 

I'VE heard the cry of crag born things 
Around the rocks of Loam 
And heard the hurried beat of wings 

And seen the tides drive home 
Like buffalo along the beach, 

In swift stampeding herds, 
But there is neither song nor speech, 

Nor melody of words 
To sing of those great roaring rocks 

When far from sound of voice, 
One felt the earth made drunk with shocks 

Tumultuously rejoice. 
And where the sea comes tumbling In, 
And where the white-caps play 

The rocks of Loam 

Beneath the foam 
Gave battle through the day. 

I dream about the rocks of Loam, 
But visit them no more. 

[24] 



THE ROCKS OF LOAM 

In dreams my face Is wet with foam, 

I hear the breakers roar, 
And, waking, ring within my ears 

Dim echoes of the past, 
So faint that foam is turned to tears 

For dreams that did not last. 
The sky was very fair and blue, 

No sky has been so fair. 
Nor has life's truth been half so true 

As dreams that hovered there 
Around those gaunt, embattled rocks 
That roared a wild refrain — 

The dreaming ends 

Old battered friends, 
But always you remain. 

And always where the sea sets In 

Will your deep voice Impart 
Above the wild barbaric din 

A message to the heart 
Of battle and of ceaseless strife. 

Of faith and fortitude, 
The glory and the grip of life 

And courage unsubdued. 

[25] 



THE ROCKS OF LOAM 

More vital than the words of men 

And all the creeds they preach, 
And wise beyond all mortal ken 

The wisdom of your speech. 
So sing, ye wave-washed warriors, 
Beneath the fields of foam. 

Your battle song. 

Your struggle song, 
Old rugged rocks of Loam. 



[26] 



FLL SING NO MORE OF THE SEA 

I'LL sing no more of the sea, but hear it sing 
Under the smother and foam 
A free-flung song. 

Stronger than love of maid or the ties of home 
Is the song of the sea, and the sea is where I be- 
long. 
Loafing around on land isn't good for me, 
So, I guess, by gad, I'll ask to be shipped to the 
sea. 

There's more of a song of the sea In a night of 

wind 
Harping the chords of the shrouds 
To sob and wail; 

The moon aloft in the sky in a spume of clouds 
As the ocean leaps to attack like a mighty flail. 
Than anything I can sing on the quiet shore. 
So I'll hark to the song of the sea, but I'll sing no 

more. 

[27] 



I'LL SING NO MORE OF THE SEA 

Friends of my days farewell, I have stayed 

awhile — 
Luck to you all and good-by; 
I'm bound away 

Out where the sun and sea and the tumbling sky 
Mingle and merge and dance in a field of spray, 
Mingle and merge and dance to a flying song. 
As the ship meets true to her course and the wind 

IS strong. 

I'll sing no more of the sea but hear it sing 

Ballads that never could flow 

From out the brain. 

Songs that hover like tears when the south winds 

blow 
And ease a man of his care and his heart of 

pain — 
Out where the dawn Is frank and the day is crude 
And the soul leaps clean like a star in the solitude. 



[28] 



THE STORM 



THE STORM 



I THE SHIP 



HER joy and pride and duty was to sail 
Upon the sea, and play a valiant part 
Against the tyranny of wave and gale 

With all the courage of her gallant heart. 
Her crew sang loudly paeans in her praise 

And fought along the docks and bragged and 
lied. ■ 
Her skipper's features softened when his gaze 

Ran lovingly along his slim white bride. 
The First Mate's wife was there to see her leave, 
The First Mate's Wife remains at home to 
pray, 
For where the great green rollers plunge and 
heave, 
A spray born thing returns unto the spray 
In stricken state, to fill an unmarked grave 
Among the billows that she loved to brave. 

[31] 



THE STORM 

II THE CREW 

The crew came swearing on at break of day 

And stowed its gear and took each others size, 
Turned to and watched the roadstead fade away 
Through bleared, indifferent, bright and brood- 
ing eyes. 
Then followed many days of open skies, 

When sailors' hearts were light and songs were 
gay 
And sailors vied, as every sailor vies, 

In planning how to dissipate the pay 
That they would never spend. It came at last 

Across the sea on swift, foam-cushioned feet, 
A raving thing, that struck away the mast 

And tore men's bleeding hands from line and 
cleat, 
As through the night they fought to save, but 
failed, 
" The fairest ship, by God, that ever sailed." 

Ill THE BEAST 

From Ice-lipped caverns looping down to hell 
The reeling wind fled clamorous, released, 

[32] 



THE STORM 

And sprang among the rigging, screamed and fell 

Along the tangled spars, a blinded beast 
With wreckage in its claws. A sailor cried 

And some one cursed the wind, the wind in- 
creased. 
The spent ship groaned and turned upon its side, 

The sea came crashing down and cursing 
ceased. 
But yesterday men laughed along the deck, 

Talked wistfully of women, grog and home, 
And now amid the smother of a wreck. 

All peacefully in caskets carved in foam, 
Like tired children slumbering safe in hope. 

They moved in silence down a dim-lit slope. 

IV THE HAVEN 

Beyond the starflecked fringes of the seas, 
An island lies where old sea captains sit 

And lie most mightily, while through the trees 
Great sailors lounge and neat-limbed maidens 
flit, 

And there are roaring songs and rugged wit. 
And wine to quaff, and honey from the bees, 

[33] 



THE STORM 

And there, if I aright remember it, 

A brave fleet rides at anchor and at ease. 
From out of grizzled throats and bearded lips 
Astounding tales are told in lavish ways 
Of sails and salvage, storms and sinking ships — 

One lie alone lasts several thousand days 
In this green mantled garden in the West 

Where men go after storms, to laugh and rest. 



[34] 



BROKEN DAYS 



THE TURNING 

AS one who at the closing of the day 
In open spaces spent, beneath fair skies, 
Looks westward where the sunset's vast array 
Casts glowing beauty deep into the eyes ; 
And gazing thus thinks back across the hours, 
The golden hours caressed by sun and wind, 
Perfumed by heather bloom and wildwood flow- 
ers, 
Is loath to turn and leave it all behind, 
So now I turn my feet from idle ways 
And leave all things that I have loved before. 
No more the uneventful, dream-touched days, 
The fireside and friendly book no more 
And rough the road until I earn the right 
To claim the peace for which I dared to fight. 



[37] 



WHAT DO I KNOW OF THE WAR? 

WHAT do I know of the battle-field? 
Nothing at all but there he lies 
Where harvest winds once blew their yield 
And moonlight falls on his eyes. 

That's what I know of the battle-field 
And that I know and nothing more, 
His song is hushed, his lips are sealed — 
That's all I know of the war. 

Nations may fall on the battle-field, 
Victor and vanquished come and go, 
And flowers bloom where the cannon pealed. 
But only this do I know. 



[38] 



w 



A HILL IN FLANDERS 

E rested on the hill, young men grown old 
In war, and watched the breath of battle 



mass 
Against the slate gray sky where thunder rolled 

Above the sluggish ribbons of the gas. 
Poor battered hulks were we from pain untold, 

The yellow husks of war, turned hard, alas, 
And in our sunken eyes our youth lay cold — 

Then some one idly shrilled a blade of grass. 
That one sharp note fled deep into the brain 

And stirred the dust memory till it blew 
Around our heads like blossoms in the rain 

Across the years from orchard lands we knew 
Once long ago, and stung with swift surprise. 

We turned and gazed through fixed, remember- 
ing eyes. 



[39] 



THAT DOCTOR FELLOW 

WE never knew he lived until he died 
And left a record that was hailed with 
pride 
By those who gazed on him with vague surprise 
As comprehension slowly dimmed their eyes. 

It seems our boys were in a bit of hell 
And being badly splattered up by shell, 
And that this doctor fellow, lately made, 
Was under fire, dishing out first-aid. 

When suddenly across the tarnished grass 
The Boches sent in wave on wave of gas 
That wrapped around the wounded and the dead. 
And brought a gas mask whipping to each head. 

It seems he kept the thing upon his face 

Until he struck a rather nasty case. 

When by the way he cocked his head and peered 

They saw the darned contraption interfered. 

[40] 



THE DOCTOR FELLOW 

He jabbed around at random for a while 
Then gave It up, and with a casual smile 
He took and tossed the nagging maslc aside 
And went on saving lives until he died. 

Just calmly went on working in that hell 
And coughed and wheezed until at last he fell 
And lay there clinging to his old tin hat — 
Whoever thought he'd do a thing like that? 

And then they picked him up from where he lay 
And carried him quite tenderly away 
Along with those he'd lost his life to save — 
A tilting cross marks out another grave. 



[41] 



SOLDIERS NEVER FOUND 

LYING on the frozen ground, 
Soldiers, soldiers never found, 
Staring at the smoky skies, 
God stoop down and touch their eyes. 

Now so helpless, once so bold. 
Soldiers, soldiers In the cold; 
Master, from thy mercy seat. 
Bend and warm their hands and feet. 

Hard and rough and cold their beds - 
Savior kneel and ease their heads, 
Victims of the last barrage, 
God, we leave them in Thy charge. 

Short the shrift and swift they fell, 
Those who gave their lives so well. 
Now at last from warfare free, 
God, we give them up to Thee. 

[42] 



SOLDIER'S NEVER FOUND 

Make them laugh and love again, 
Still their hate and ease their pain, 
Touch wtlh joy each ragged breast, 
Jesus give them peace and rest. 



[43] 



TO A CERTAIN CONTINGENT 

TO a certain contingent from over the seas, 
(Tired and weary from over the seas), 
That took what It wanted with Infinite ease 
From the Huns It almlghtUy blighted; 
For all of the wrongs that you righted, 
And the flame in our hearts that you lighted 
This cover of sadly inadequate lines 
in honor of you is indited. 
For you slaughtered the swine of young 
Willy-be-damned, 
Along with their murderous arts. 
And taking your bayonets you capably 
crammed 
The fear of a god In their hearts. 
So, here's to you fellows from over the seas, 
(Tired and weary from over the seas), 
You belted the Boches — the world's at your 
knees. 
You're the people, by gad, you're the people I 

[44] 



TO A CERTAIN CONTINGENT 

To a certain contingent from over the seas, 
(A tired contingent from over the seas), 
They went out and took it and failed to say please 
To the Boches it smote and confounded; 
For all of the Huns that you hounded. 
And all of their hopes that you grounded, 
And all of the Fritzies you basted and 
slammed, 

till the welkin with " Kamer- 
ad " resounded. 
These lines are intended directly for you, 

Ye wielders of bayonets and butts. 
Who blasted an opening and hurried on 
through 
With an admirable showing of guts. 
So, here's to you fellows from over the seas. 
That cuddled the cooties (called commonly fleas), 
Though tired and weary from over the seas. 

You're the people, by gad, you're the people 1 



[45] 



THE PLANES 

THE planes set wing and take the sky, 
The planes are out and bound away. 
Majestically they wheel and fly, 
Bent on the business of the day, 
On which upon a balanced breath 
Hangs swift oblivion and death. 

The planes are out — the army lies — 
A giant crouching at their feet — 
They are Its penetrating eyes. 
Like straining hearts their motors beat 
As through the dizzy heights they race, 
But some shall not return to base. 

For he who flies with man made wings, 

Where clouds to burning shreds are blown, 

Does casually heroic things, 

And takes his chances quite alone 

To set the crouching giant free 

And help the big, blind guns to see. 

[46] 



THE PLANES 

Aloft to him men turn their eyes, 

And throats grow tight and sight grows dim 

As through the gray, shell spattered skies 

They see him poise his plane and skim 

Above the battle's ragged shroud 

To meet death darting from a cloud. 

Alone a man goes forth to fight 
Where man has never fought before, 
Alone with death he rides the night 
Above the cannons' distant roar, 
Alone he comes to grip with fate. 
While far below the armies wait. 

There's death that swims beneath the seas, 
And death that leaps from flashing steel, 
And death that slips across the breeze. 
But there is none to know or feel 
The pang when foe meets foe in air 
And one must plunge and perish there. 

Upon the man on high depends 
The fate of many men below, 
And so he calmly serves their ends 

[47] 



THE PLANES 

Because to him It must be so. 
His Is the harder task and grim, 
And being such, men honor him. 

With careless grace they dip and wheel 

Above the battle's drift and surge. 

Yet who can feel the things they feel 

Or know the wild homeric urge 

Of those who fight with cool, clear brains, 

The men who man the aeroplanes? 



The planes set wing and take the sky, 
The low sun paints their pinions red 
As restlessly they mount and fly 
Above the campus of the dead. 
Like gulls across the ocean spray 
The planes set wing and stream away. 



[48] 



TO THREE DODGERS 

THEY sat them down secure in their exemp- 
tion, 
Three wise young men to quaff their wine and 

gloat 
Above their costly plates. Beyond redemption 
Were they for whom contempt made warm my 

throat. 
They spoke of war, eyes never meeting eyes, 
Complained because the Germans still were gain- 
ing. 
They drank and gazed on me with pained surprise, 
Then turned to plays and universal training. 
Beyond their well-groomed heads I saw a plain 
That ran through lands of murky hell and smoke, 
And there the wounded lay and there the slain 
Gazed up at hopeless skies where shrapnel broke. 
I saw wan women bathing soldiers' feet, 
Then, all three cursed — their cocktails were 
too sweet. 

[49] 



THE JUNKER 

HE shares alone dominion with the brute, 
Yet in a subtler way procures his spoil. 
The world Is his to ravish and to loot 

And backward lands to glut him with their toil. 

The serpent crushes soft wings In Its coll, 

The panther kills the lamb with hateful blows, 

Yet he alone slays people for their soil 
And calls it patriotic — so it goes. 

There was a man named Christ who walked the 
earth, 

A sort of universal poor folks pal, 
Who never cared how much a man was worth, 

But, like good fellows, quite impractical. 
Or so it seems. In these stout junkers' eyes. 

Who envy man the earth and God the skies. 



[50] 



THE MOTHERLAND 

COME, close your eyes in unrememberlng 
sleep 
My weary ones, my breast Is wide and deep. 
My arms are strong enough to clasp you all, 

The ones that falter and the ones that fall. 
Unstrap your heavy packs and sink to rest. 
Soldiers of France, upon your mother's breast. 

I sent you forth to fight; you did not know 

The agony it caused to see you go, 
My singing sons, so dapper and so slim. 

Now worn with war, your faces pale and grim. 
I sent you forth to face a rising horde. 

Soldiers of France, and kissed your desperate 
sword. 

You bled for me, but did not bleed alone; 

For you I hushed within my heart the groan 
And strove to sing those songs when in retreat 

That once made merry music for your feet 

[si] 



THE MOTHERLAND 

Before you marched from me with martial tread; 
Soldiers of France, your mother also bled. 

Come back to me my sons and learn to smile 
As in the happy past, come, rest awhile, 

My pleasure loving children once so bright 
Who used to sing and dance away the night. 

Come, lose your bitterness, forget your pain, 
Soldiers of France, and learn to laugh again. 

My tattered children, proud beneath your blue, 
My little singing sons, I call to you. 

The boulevards you loved are once more gay, 
The maidens wait and night is turned to day. 

Across the golden dawn return to me. 

Soldiers of France, the Motherland is free! 



[52] 



RECOMPENSE 

ACROSS the dawn the cannon spoke 
And tore the ancient church apart. 
Methodically It struck and broke 
An age-old heart. 

A robin with a rusty breast, 

Preoccupied with work was he, 

All day with care contrived a nest 
Within a tree. 

And as the sun fell down the sky 
The lovely western windows bled. 

The ruin stirred and seemed to sigh 
And then lay dead. 

At twilight time the fields grew dim, 
The murdered church sank In a pall 

Of smoke, and from a ragged limb 
There came a call. 

[53] 



RECOxMPENSE 

Another robin homeward flew, 
The sky was desolate and wild. 

Yet God looked down upon the two 
With eyes that smiled. 



[54] 



A POILU SPEAKS 

IT'S mine, that stuff that falls upon the field, 
Drawn painlessly from some unfeeling* part 
Of my spent body. Hall the crimson yield, 

The final token of a falling heart ! 
How strange to think It once belonged to me, 

This blood, that surged within my singing veins 
But yesterday when I was treading free 

At home among the meadowlands and lanes. 

Death's not the thing, my friend, for death is 
swift. 

And I shall live when Spring returns again, 
For this my welling blood, my vital gift. 

Shall glow In cheerful flowers on the plain 
Among the hedges where the children dance, 
A breath of fragrance and a bit of France. 



Css] 



BY THE OLD CHATEAU 

WE died last night by the old chateau 
Before the boches fled; 
Downed in the barbs in the gulch below, 
But the boys swept on ahead 
Into the smoke and we saw them go, 
And a cheer rose from the dead. 

We died last night in the burning woods — 

Men, did you hear us cheer? 

Caught where the breath of the battle broods 

Still are we waiting here; 

Waiting behind in the burning woods — 

We wait till the woods are clear. 

We died last night by the old chateau 

Before the boches fled. 

We cannot rest and we cannot go, 

Our bayonets were never red. 

We watch and wait and we will it so, 

We are the waiting dead. 

[56] 



BY THE OLD CHATEAU 

We fell last night and they sent us West 
At the turn of another day. 
We have not gone to our final rest 
Though ye wished us luck on our way. 
The faith still flames in the spirit breast, 
We're here, and we're here to stay. 

Men who followed us through that night, 

Men of the first advance, 

We who no longer can share the fight 

Wait where the gas wreaths dance. 

Never to lift our wings in flight 

Till the Boches are clear of France I 



[57] 



THE LIBERATORS— 19 1 8 

THEY'VE taken Bruges, they've taken Thielt, 
they're marching down the coast; 
They're mopping up the Kriemhild line, they've 

liberated Lille, 
And the mighty Prussian army fades before the 
Allied host 
That is hewing ground from underneath the 
bloody Prussian heel. 
And the grim, relentless anguish of the unrequited 
years 
Like a shadow moves across the stricken land; 
Turn ye back ye peasant people and ye women dry 
your tears, 
For the freedom of your country is at hand. 

They've taken Lens and Le Cateau, they're at the 

gates of Ghent; 
They're marching on Valenciennes, theyVe 

moved across the Scheldt 
And the vaunted blood and Iron ring Is broken and 

is bent 

[58] 



THE LIBERATORS— 1918 

As the Allies battle forward and the Prussian 
legions melt. 
There is sorow in the meadow, there is famine in 
the field, 
In a pall of ragged smoke the village lies 
As before their ruined holdings, once so glorious 
with yield, 
The peasants stand with wonder in their eyes. 

They've crossed the Serre, theyVe crossed the 
Oise, they've breached the Hunding line; 
TheyVe taken Thun and Pont a Chin, they're 
pushing through the mud 
And across the soggy meadow lands the homing 
missiles whine 
As the Prussian boots are battered till the spurs 
are dripping blood. 
There is death among the hedges, there is grief 
among the lanes 
Where the bitterness of war has cast its blight, 
But the peasants seek their homesteads as the au- 
tumn glory wanes 
And the ruins soften in the shades of night. 

C59] 



THE LIBERATORS— 1918 

TheyVe taken Pecq and Herpy Mill; they've 
cleared the Belgian coast; 
TheyVe taken Marie and Wassigny — the 
armies still advance — 
And they've bent the Prussian circle, and they've 
nailed the Prussian boast 
To the everlasting glory of the Allied arms in 
France. 
Now across the furrowed country lie the legions 
of the dead, 
From the shadow of the mountains to the sea, 
And an ancient peasant standing in the twilight 
lifts his head. 
In the ruins of his dwelling he is free. 



[60] 



THE HAND IN THE SKY 

THE chalice of our days now lies in bits, 
And twilight settles down upon the soul, 
The scheme by which we lived no longer fits 
The sorry facts of life — no longer whole 
And undisturbed our happy old beliefs, 
But rent by secret fears and secret griefs. 
Like children frightened in a dismal wood 

We lose our gathered flowers one by one. 
We stand no longer now where once we stood 
And now we falter where we used to run. 
Our visions fade and vanish from our sight 
For some great hand Is held before the light. 

Along the whispering galleries of our fear 

The dust of memory stirs and ghosts are blown 
From out the Golden Once to plead and peer 
Until we dare not trust ourselves alone. 
Across the hostile gloom the silence sighs 
And trembling curtains shadow watching 
eyes. 

[6i] 



THE HAND IN THE SKY 

The echoes of the years on padded feet 
Fall stealthily, a swift, pursuing sound, 
Like panthers creeping in to block retreat, 
Black panthers leaping valleys at a bound. 
We turn to flee, but still the hand remains 
Across the sky — its fingers sear our brains. 

The world is locked in labour. Grief and hate 

And wrath and bitterness unknown before 
Brood In the heart, while Death, Insatiate, 
Lays hands upon the latchstrlng of the door 
Of silent homes from which all joy has 

flown. 
Where those within dwell In their souls 
alone. 
When laughter left the earth the Dark Host came 

Across the dawn, a gray, relentless horde, 
And laid our lovely villages in flame 

And leveled all before Its searching sword. 
While high above our murdered maidens' 

screams 
The cannon spoke and tore away our dreams. 



[62] 



THE HAND IN THE SKY 

We dream no more. Our star-blown dreams are 
done — 
Trailed In the dust. With dim, remembering 
eyes 
We search the lifting gloom to find the sun 
Lost in the cloud-locked valleys of the skies. 
Not dead our dreams! Not dead! Grim, 

unafraid, 
Men fight for dreams, blade leaping out to 
blade. 
Not dead our tattered dreams. Our sacred blood 

Shall flow unchecked for them until release 
Is won and we can weave from out the flood 
Our dreams Into an everlasting peace. 

Not dead our dreams. The hand shall be 

withdrawn 
And men shall lift their eyes and see the 
dawn. 



[63] 



HAUNTS AND BY-PATHS 



THE ROAD TO CHALMODIE 

THE road that runs to Chalmodie 
In Whlttleshire that lies among 
The hills Is very dear to me. 

Though little known and seldom sung 
The names are proper to the tongue 
And there are many things to see 

By those whom fate or fame has flung 
Along the road to Chalmodie. 

Along the road to Chalmodie, 

I met a face bespread with smiles, 

A rugged sailor man was he 

Who spoke of fairy fashioned Isles 
And maids of hardly righteous wiles; 

His talk was very loose and free, 
And as we trod the dusty miles 

He sang some wicked songs to me. 

I met a man of humble rank 

Who staggered slightly as he went. 

[67] 



THE ROAD TO CHALMODIE 

His wife was pretty when he drank, 
He said, and so he often spent 
In buying rum his final cent, 

And thus became a mighty tank. 
She liked, said he, the compliment, 

And only had herself to thank. 

And there was one whose verbal flow 

Was adequate to say the least. 
His eyes were wild, his hair was tow. 

His dissertation never ceased. 

A barrister, perhaps, or priest? 
With crushing scorn he answered " No. 

A poet I." His scorn increased; 
I fawned on him and murmured " Oh! " 

When asked for rhymes I saw him wince. 

" I never rhyme," replied the bard. 
*' I do," said I, " the rhyme is quince," 

And left him breathing very hard. 

I met a noble, spurred and scarred, 
Who swore about a neighboring prince. 

He offered me his calling card. 
I haven't seen the fellow since. 

[68] 



THE ROAD TO CHALMODIE 

Oh, there are many things to see. 

And there are many things to do 
Along the road to Chalmodle, 

But most of them are scarcely true. 

A maiden tripped across the dew 
At dusk and blew a kiss to me 

And there were only just we two 
Along the road to Chalmodle. 

And no one ever hurries by, 

But stops awhile to rest his load. 
And ask the which and where and why, 

One's state of health and last abode; 

And once I met a talking toad 
Who failed to wait for my reply — 

You know of no such silly road, 
You say? Oh, well, no more do I. 



[69] 



GREEN LAWNS 

I LOVE green lawns, green rolling lawns, 
With trees nearby, 

Where one can catch the tread of fawns. 
I never try 

To see them, but I know they're there, 

And maidens, too, with flowing hair, 

And goblins and a sleepy bear 

That blinks one eye. 

I think green lawns, green rolling lawns, 

A pleasant sight; 
Brushed clean by silver singing dawns 

All fresh and bright. 
And glad beneath a scarf of dew 
Reflecting lofty skies and blue. 
Where purple stars come trickling through 

The trees at night. 

I love green lawns where pine trees are 
And water spills, 

[70] 



GREEN LAWNS 

A drowsy voice that flows afar 

Among the hills. 
I love green lawns where blossoms blow, 
And shadows come and shadows go, 
Where goldenrod and wild things grow 

And daffodils. 

I think that I shall search some day 

For such a place, 
Where quite contented I can stay 

And press my face 
Against the fresh and fragrant grass, 
The while the golden hours pass, 
As cloud flotillas wheel and mass 

And ply through space. 

I feel I know of such a spot. 

Or so it seems; 
Perhaps I saw it from my cot 

Last night in dreams — 
This land that I am looking for, 
Where one can rest and burn no more. 
And limbs are never throbbing sore. 

And sunshine streams. 

[71] 



GREEN LAWNS 

I saw green lawns and slanting skies 

That seemed to meet, 
Where cool-armed maids with starry eyes 

And voices sweet, 
Sang songs among the swaying trees. 
And danced with neat and nimble knees 
To vagrant gipsy melodies 

On silver feet. 

St. Vincent's Hospital — 
October, 1918. 



[72] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

SO that you may enjoy the beauty 
Of the light that falls on the mountains, 
I give you your freedom now, 
And I place in your hand 
A reed still wet from the lake 
From which I drew it 
In the hush of the morning mist 
For I knew you would go 

Outward to-day on a path that I could not follow 
And I feared for you lest you might weary 
Along the way. 

And because I knew you would want for the sound 

of music 
I have notched a hole in the reed 
And fashioned a flute, 
So that you might play as you pass through the 

criss-cross shadows 
That swarm so heavy and silent among the trees 
And that those who await your coming 

[73] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

Might hear your music 

And hasten to meet you 

And play with you on the way; 

But tarry not long in the woods 

For One will be waiting 

At the end of the path to welcome you back to 

His fields, 
His woods and His lakes and His hills and His 

silent places 
For which you have longed 
And which you have gone to find. 

I place a rose at your breast, 

See, little traveler, 

For you to bear on your way 

As a gift to Him 

From one who would fain have kept you a little 

longer. 
But being unworthy has let you return again 
To that land from which you departed 
One singing morning. 
One morning all drenched with the singing of 

boughs and of birds. 

[74] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

So that you may travel unbruised 

Through the rugged country, 

I cover your feet with sandals 

And bind them with thongs, 

And, see, I drape on your form 

With reverent fingers 

A scarf of purple and scarlet and green and gold, 

As gay as the heart 

That sorrowed awhile at the ending 

Because it was burdened with things 

That it could not bear. 

And now you are well arrayed 

For the glad outgoing. 

And He, when He sees you, will know 

I have treasured you well, 

For you are more fair and more beautiful 

Now at the leaving 

Than when you came singing your way 

Through the spreading dawn, 

A song that was laden with faith 

And glowing with dreams. 



[75] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

You will leave me now to the past 

In a haunted vista, 

Where the pine trees whisper your name 

To the stars at night; 

So, I shall press on your lips 

This kiss at the parting. 

Now it is over and ended; 

I turn away; 

But the sound of your song 

Is following, following after 

And the tread of your feet falls close 

And I see your eyes 

And feel the breath of your lips, 

And among the shadows 

You have hidden yourself from me. 

You were fond of hiding. 



It is over and ended now, 

And the ending is over. 

I turn my back. 

See, I have turned away. 

If you fear the shades in the woods 

When the night is falling 

[76] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

Remember to call, and Love, I shall answer your 

call 
Though you will not hear, 
For you will be far from hearing 
The cry that breaks and tears itself from my heart 
For the traveler so little and lonely among the 

trees. 

Be gay as you go 

And take care in your flight to remember 

The reed, and the rose, and the beautiful scarf, 

that you wear. 
For He will be happy and pleased 
When He sees you are near Him 
To know that I treasured you well 
And clad you in raiment 
As fair as the dawn 
Out of which you came to me singing 
A song that washes like sobs 
In the vaults of my ears. 

You are gone ! You are no more here. 

And the light is ebbing. 

Is it dark where you tread, little traveler, 

[77] 



NEAR A PINE FOREST 

And strange and cold? 

Play loud on your flute, play loud! 

Perhaps they will hear you. 

Play loud, little one, play loud. 

And send back an echo. 

Is it dark in the woods? 

Play on, I shall not grieve ! 



[78] 



ROSE GATHERERS OF THE NIGHT 

THEY pluck at night the roses that are left 
By those who pluck the roses in the day. 
Quite furtively they pluck with fingers deft, 

Then steal away; 
A little rose hid warmly in each breast 

So none would ever know that it was there. 
And as they hurry frightened to the West 

They loose their hair, 
Which is so light and fairy-thistle spun 

It floats like mist across the fields and hills, 
And if by chance you rise to greet the sun 

When nature thrills 
With dawning you will see them in their flight, 

A silver haze swept on before the wind. 
The ones who gather roses in the silence of the 
night 

As if they'd sinned. 



[79] 



BACK TO THE DAY 

DAWN is hiding among the hills, shall we 
look for it together 
Where the great crags rear and the valley fills 

with mist from the distant 'sea? 
Already the wind is running its hand through the 

tousled hair of the heather — 
Love, will you run to the hills and away with me ? 

Stars and shadows and balsam boughs, a loon on 

the lake Is crying 
And the pine-steeped wind as It sifts and soughs 

through the reeds is alert with dawn; 
The heathery hills inveigle the moon, a hawk 

from his nest is flying. 
Stars quiver out like the dew on a dusky lawn. 

See, the wings of the night are spread, the bird in 

the bush Is waking, 
And the dim, gray vault of the east is red-awake; 

it Is time to run 

[80] 



BACK TO THE DAY . 

Together across the rim of the dawn to the shore 

where the waves are breaking; 
Up, let us shout to the sea and salute the sun! 



[81] 



IN THE WOODS 

WERE they the sounds of fairy feet? 
Oh, I hope they were; 
The hurried patter, the hush and beat 
And the gentle stir 

Of the old crisp, crinkled winter leaves 
In the fresh green wood. 

Were they the sound of fairy feet, 

Wee, small and pink, 

Dancing a merry swift retreat? 

I would love to think 

Of the Old Things playing among the leaves 

And the solitude. 

Were they the sounds of fairy feet? 

Oh, it must be so ! 

The breathless scamper so soft and fleet, 

And the heel and toe 

Racing among the old brown leaves 

In the fresh green wood. 

[82] 



THIS PLACE 

HERE I kissed her, here we fought. 
Here we parted, here made up. 
Here we ate the things we brought, 
Drinking from the selfsame cup. 
Here she made a wreath for me 
Trimmed with fern and roses red. 
Here I carved upon the tree. 
Here I chased and here she fled. 
Here we lay upon the grass. 
Here we planned the unborn years, 
Here we saw the summer pass. 
Here I laughed away her tears. 
Here she blossomed, here she grew, 
Here she withered, here she died. 
Here a world was rent in two, 
Here I cursed my God and cried. 
Here she lies beneath the mold. 
Here at last in lonesome state. 
Weary of the world and old 
Here I think of her and wait. 

[83] 



THE LITTLE SHOP THAT WAS 

FOR CLAIRE 



H 



OW cheery was the little shop and what a 
snug retreat 
And what a pleasant thing It was to ponder there 

and search 
Among the friendly rows of books, while, just 

across the street, 
One saw the sparrows bathing in the fountain of 

the church. 

The little shop has gone away, and so I go no 
more 

To dip and delve and lose myself In tales of yes- 
terday, 

But sometimes, when Fm passing by, I falter at 
the door 

To think of it as once it was and watch the foun- 
tain play. 

I knew the niche for every book and took a cer- 
tain pride 

[84] 



THE LITTLE SHOP THAT WAS 

In joining In the heated search when one had been 

misplaced. 
Suspiciously we groped about and eagerly we vied 
Until at length the missing one triumphantly was 

traced. 

Neil Lyons, Jacks, Hillaire Belloc — I knew 

them every one — 
Hugh Clifford, Hudson, Beresford, Wells, Wal- 

pole, G. B. S. 
And Kenneth Graham's " Golden Age " and G. 

K. Chesterton 
And, lower down, the Russian row — a sweetly 

morbid mess. 

The poets shared the other side, among them 
Frost and Yeats, 

John Masefield, Housman, Oppenhelm — then 
many shelves of plays. 

And here I've fled and locked myself behind these 
friendly gates 

And In the old gloom of the shop explored en- 
chanted ways. 

[85] 



THE LITTLE SHOP THAT WAS 

There was a little cubby-hole, secreted in the rear 
That breathed a proper mystery of life behind the 

scenes 
And often of a winter's night would we foregather 

here 
Unravelling rare philosophies and figuring ways 

and means. 

In silence lay the outer shop — extinguished were 
the lights, 

Occasionally the wandering wind sniffed at the 
door and whined. 

How mellow was the little place on those mid-win- 
ter nights 

When all the world went rumbling by and left us 
far behind. 

The little shop has gone away and so I go no 

more; 
Deserted are the dusty shelves; the walls are 

stark and bare, 
But sometimes, when I'm passing by, I falter at 

the door 
And picture it as once it was, when all the books 

were there. 

[86] 



G 



f HE OLD BOOK WORM 

OD gave his arm a natural crook 
To snuggle and contain a book.- 



His eyes a little dim, yet quick,= 
A battered hat, a pipe, a stick,> 

I've often watched him hurry home, 
His shoulders, hunched above some tome, 

To leave the warring world behind 
Within the pages of his find. 

He loved to read his books in bed 

And there one day they found him dead. 

A jolly way for him to go. 

I'm sure he must have wished it so ; 

His soul cut loose and winging free 
Across some fine romantic sea 

[87] 



THE OLD BOOK WORM 

To friends and scenes he loved and knew. 
For one, I hope his dreams came true. 

And yet our street is not the same — 
I think perhaps that he's to blame. 



[88] 



AUTUMN IN THE SUBWAY 

I WATCHED her eyes, for they were fixed 
afar 

Where sky and crag and flaring sunset meet, 
And there before me in the fetid car 

A river glided and the woods smelled sweet 
And wind swam in the trees. The night came on 

And through the singing dusk I saw her face 
In Autumn foliage framed. Then she was gone 

And there came one with dark eyes to her place. 
Her heavy perfume drifting up to me 

Swept out the night wind through the sobbing 
trees, 
A shadow crossed the woods and stealthily, 

There came the swift caress of silken knees. 
Then beauty died. I sought another strap 
And thought of one with red leaves in her lap. 



[89] 



TO A TRUE PROPHET 

MEN make a mockery, Martin, of your' 
name, 
And why Is that and why are many things? 
You fanned the flame and others stole the flame 
And when you learned to fly they took your wings. 
From out our midst the prophets, priests and kings 
Have gone away; remains with us the shame, 
In spite of which to you some credit clings. 
Because of which men hold you much to blame. 

But nothing Martin, now Is quite the same 

The fearless words which made men turn on you 

Weak brothers shout, and swear that they are 

new; 
Continues still the sickening search for fame. 
And still we ply the practice of our trade 
Of politics with vision stale and dead. 
And sometimes, Martin, sometimes Fm afraid 
When I recall how solemnly you said — 
A party or a people lost to truth, 

[90] 



TO A TRUE PROPHET 

With courage gone to rot, bereft of dreams 
Are dying things — for Martin so It seems. 
We've done dishonor to our dreams of youths 
Men win the game who never play the game 
While other men are prisoned In the dark, 
And there Is none to hear the things they claim 
And there is none to bear to them the spark 
Of hope as once you bore the spark to me 
When mouths were unafraid and tongues were 

free. 
Those hidden ones that turned on you the knife 
Now hew the tree to which you gave your life. 
And that's about how things are with us here. 
Old friend, our stately ship has drifted far 
From off the course and there is much to fear. 
You're lucky, Martin, lying where you are. 



[91] 



TO A MODERN WOMAN 

SHE lived in books and dreams, yet loved the 
earth. 
She said a lot of silly things and died 
And no one ever really knew her worth 
And no one cared and no one ever tried. 
She smoked her cigarettes with reckless pride 
And talked artistically her Freudian gush. 
Yet there were flowers underneath the slush 
Still fragrant though perhaps a trifle dried. 

One smiled at her, yet one could not deride. 
The soul of her, one felt was much too brave 
And large with love and, yet, no creature's 

slave — 
One felt this more, of course, when she had died. 
She said a lot of things she did not know, 
She knew a lot of things she did not say. 
She said that this was thus and that was so 
And said another thing another day. 

[92] 



TO A MODERN WOMAN 

As true as gold her heart and golden gay. 

Her busy brain was very much alive 

With dizzy thoughts, with which she loved to play, 

Like bees abubble in a lofty hive. 

Perhaps that's why her thoughts could not survive, 

Perhaps that's why remained no lasting trace 

Of all the things for which she used to strive 

And yet, as we stood gazing on her face 

With all its lovely animation dead 

We all remembered something she had said 

That we had used as ours. We turned away 

And stealthy silence fell upon us all; 

Before that frail accusing bit of clay 

One felt quite furtive and a trifle small. 



[93] 



TO THE OTHER WOMAN 

ACROSS the great confusion of my mind 
You came to me like Hebe through the 
night, 
A pagan thing beyond all wrong or right, 
Abundant In your love yet strangely kind; 
Who called forgotten things long left behind, 
A vagrant song, wild flowers, lost delight — 
When was it now that beauty took Its flight 
And left a soul at war and unresigned? 

Perhaps my lips were dumb, my eyes were blind, 
Perhaps I killed the thing I sought to find. 
The way is short to climb, but far to fall 
And this might be the reason for It all. 
Perhaps it's wiser after all to ask 
No questions here, nor further strive to task 
A mind that plugged the saw with all Its might — 
Why curse a bug because It bears a blight? 
The facts are thus and other reasons pall. 

[94] 



TO THE OTHER WOMAN 

We shake the hand, yet seldom hear the call. 
So let it end. 

Because your singing voice 
A little while lulled shame within my soul 
And made a jaded heart awhile rejoice 
And see the glory of a vanished goal; 
Because you snatched a thought beyond a dream 
And made It live again before my eyes, 
A song at dusk beneath fair summer skies 
That rendered mute awhile the frightened scream 
Of my remorse, I show no great surprise, 
Nor ask your name, nor weigh your moral worth, 
Nor question what it was that brought rebirth 
To things long dead, nor shall I strive to cloak 
That when your song was hushed and daylight 

broke 
Departed from my breast the wings of peace 
Across the faint pink gables of the town 
And with the dawn the darkness settled down 
More fiercely for one fragrant night's release. 

It happened so and things are as they are. 
And there is room for mockery and mirth. 
We see the stars, yet cannot touch a star. 

[95] 



TO THE OTHER WOMAN 

We tread the earth, yet cannot prove the earth, 

And who can find the spot where beauty dwells? 

And who can find the dwelling place of Good? — 

In what distorted souls or looping hells, 

Or say that this is false or that is true, 

The clearest spring lies in the darkest wood, 

And there is none to judge or pity you 

Or me or any one, for no one knows 

From what dark pit a breath of beauty blows, 

What withered hands the stars of kindness strew, 

Or in what cave a hidden blossom grows. 

Within a word of yours, a fleeting thought 
I caught, or so it seemed to me, I caught 
A breath of love and pity more profound 
Than all the words that echo and resound 
Through windy domes where men to mortals 

preach 
And stultify their souls through human speech. 
It is not this. There is some other thing — 
A crumpled bird that bears a broken wing 
Perhaps has sweeter music in its breast 
Than all the world and all the singing rest 
Who fly unmaimed. 

[96] 



TO THE OTHER WOMAN 

Within the flaming West 
I saw a thing that called aloud to me, 
And that one thing my eyes shall ever see, 
And that one thing my ears shall ever hear. 
I shall not give it name, nor name the year, 
Nor try to analyze how much it meant. 
Since then in devious ways my feet have trod 
Across the world through leagues of discontent, 
So, after all, perhaps that thing was God. 



[97] 



THE LISTENER 

I TOLD him my ambition was to write 
And thereupon produced and read some stuff. 
With sympathetic patience all that night 
He listened; but my verse was not enough. 
I thought that he should hear at least my play. 
And so he did. " It's very good," he said. 
Then rising, for the night was growing gray — 
" It must be nice to write. Well, I'm for bed." 
Alone, I rummaged through his stuffy files 
Of legal papers couched In jargon terse. 
And strangely there among those dusty piles 
I chanced upon a wistful bit of verse 
Of honest poetry worthy of the name 
And, as I read, my eyes grew bright with shame. 



[98] 



THE UNEDIFYING FIVE 

THE five of us frequented many bars, 
And often spent entire evenings so, 
Consuming cigarettes and black cigars 

And other things, the while a steady flow 
Of argument accompanied each drink. 
So fiercely that a stander-by would think 
We hated one another, which was true 

Quite frequently, but most the time we quaffed 
Our heady beverages the evening through. 

And spent our hard-earned pay and cursed and 
laughed 
And talked philosophy and dizzy schemes 

Of how to make the world a better place. 

Or how to renovate the human race. 
And as we talked our rosy-tinted dreams 

Became quite real to us, and time and space 
Fell from our shoulders like a heavy cloak, 
As we sat drinking in a haze of smoke ; 
Our god-like souls released on soaring wings 

And though I fear we looked quite dissolute, 

[99] 



THE UNEDIFYING FIVE 

We felt that we were poets, priests and kings, 

As Bacchus played upon his liquid flute, 

Or syphon bottle, which is much the same 
In these drab days, in fact, a substitute 

For his once mellow reed. At fiv^e we came 
Hot-footed from our offices and burst 
Upon the scene to satisfy a thirst 
Made keen by an uninteresting day, 

Through which we toiled rebelliously to earn 
Our beggarly but sadly needed pay 

In order that the candle light might burn 
At either end. Good God, the time we spent! 

The rum we drank! The speeches wildly 
spoken ! 
The dissertation and the argument. 

When future rows were brewed and dates were 
broken 
And we resorted to the public booth 
And phoned wild words, but never phoned the 

truth. 
Which was unnecessary, for the friend, 
Or wife or sweetheart at the other end, 
Could gather by a strangely honeyed tone 

The blackness of the lies so glibly told, 

[lOo] 



THE UNEDIFYING FIVE 

But yet we did not fear the telephone — 

The distance somehow made us all feel bold. 
A wretched lot were we if all were known — 
" Good evening, Steve, has Chick or Bud been 

in?" 
And Steve would set the Scotch or rye or gin, 
And every man would grasp and pour his own. 
A wretched lot. In truth, but not the worst. 

Desk-ridden fags who tolled and dissipated, 
Like other youths whom destiny had cursed 
With both Imagination and a thirst 

That city life had hardly satiated. 
When I recall those whiskey-drinking nights. 

Those unregenerate, futile, drifting days, 
The laughter and the arguments and fights. 

The streets and taxicabs and gilded ways, 
I see across an alcoholic haze 
Familiar once, but long since vanished faces 
Encountered here and there in sundry places, 
In restaurants and lobbies and cafes — 
The faces of young men who, like ourselves, 
Paid tribute to the white-clad Irish elves 
Who passed the bottles neatly o'er the board, 
And gave us checks that we could 111 afford 

[lOl] 



THE UNEDIFYING FIVE 

To settle for; young men around the town, 

Wild, wayward youths, unedifying fives. 
The spendthrift, tippler, sensualist and clown, 

Who drank with us In those unsavory dives, 
And turned each night Into a sordid day. 
We knew them all and liked them In a way. 
Unedifying fives, where are they now. 

Those roisterers that brawled around the bars. 
Who loved to sing and dance and drink and row 

And flash from pub to pub In creening cars? 
Though thirsty still, they are no longer here. 

And nothing now Is as It was before; 
The bars have lost their warmth, the cup Its cheer 

The fives have broken, some to meet no more, 
And older men now toast their absent sons. 
And strive to laugh and crack half-hearted puns 
And keep a cheerful eye. It's not the same. 
There Is no zest, the bars seem very tame. 
The wicked ones have gone, those wretched boys. 
Who raised such howling hell and made such noise. 
Have gone, all gone. Their once familiar haunts 
Resound no more with their unseemly taunts, 
And business Is a little more than slack, 
Yet many more than bar-keeps wish them back. 

[102] 



THE UNEDIFYING FIVE 

Where are they now, those youthful rakes and 

gay, 

Those wild, marauding, unregenerate fives, 
Who took their final drinks and strolled away. 
And loving laughter, laughing gave their lives ? 



[103] 



IDLERS 



I MUST LIVE TO-DAY 

I MUST live to-day, 
The sun Is In the sky, 
The world Is good, and I 
Must hasten on my way. 
The roads are cool and gay, 
The hawk Is flying high. 
The wind and branches play, 
The precious moments fly. 
Too soon, too soon to die. 
No longer can I stay. 
All life is running by 
And life Is good I say! 
Ahead the mountains He, 
Where little cloudlets stray 
The silver birches sway. 
The village maidens sigh. 
The sun Is In the sky. 
The roads are cool and gay, 
The world Is good, and I 
Must live my life to-day ! 
[107] 



DUSK 

OVER the purple hills 
The sun has sped away, 
Dusk, and a swallow .thrills, 
So ends the day. 

Up from the darkling seas 
A swift star wings its flight. 

Voice of the wind In trees; 
So comes the night. 



[io8] 



THE WAYFARERS 

THOSE old spent men who moved across the 
hill 
Among the trees were yesterdays of mine. 
Above their heads I heard the branches whine 
As sunset burned and all the world grew still. 
Along the path I watched them weave until 
They passed from view and he who led the line 
Turned back on me and made a feeble sigh 
Of meek acceptance of some greater Will. 

The flowers that they bore had once been sweet, 
Their songs that fell like sobs had once been gay, 
Their withered, slowly moving fragile feet 
Had leaped as light as wine but yesterday 
When those old men of whom I am the last, 
Like singing gods, set forth Into the past. 



[109] 



OLD LAUGHTER 

REMEMBER old laughter to keep It alive 
To gleam like the sun in the heart of our 
tears; 
Let echoes of laughter long silent survive 
And ring down the years. 

Remember old laughter, its floating refrain 
Of people and places and years that have fled 

Will stroke with kind fingers the chords of our 
pain 
When laughter is dead. 

Remember old laughter and cling to the mirth 
Of the past, it is all that we have — withered 
flowers 

That bloomed In the glory and spring of the earth 
When laughter was ours. 



[no] 



OLD LAUGHTER 

Remember old laughter, its haunting appeal 
Will hover around us and tenderly twine 

Like tendrils of ivy when sadly we kneel 
In the dust of its shrine. 



[Ill] 



THE LOST SINGER 

I HEARD a song when the day was done 
And clouds flamed over the setting sun, 
I heard a song in the glowing skies 
That brought the tears to my eyes. 

I heard a song at the end of day 
Lifting and drifting so far away. 
I heard a song and I longed to see 
Who the singer might be. 

I heard a song and I turned to gaze 
Back through the vista of vanished days 
And the singing soul of a lad passed by 
And lo, the singer was L 



[112] 



THE RHYME OF THE LOST 
ROMANCE 

IN Avalon they say that witches are. 
Odysseus had a witch to bed with him. 
Beneath the water cool-armed maidens swim 
As fair as swans and happier by far 
Than we who cling to earth with mortal fear. 
There is no doubt that drifting on a star 
A fairy waits, tender to man, and dear. 

In Avalon, hushed island realm of green, 
There was a garden wet beneath its weeds. 
Poppy and lotus, slim pomegranate seeds 
Laughed in the earth and later leaped between 
The singing grass and brought bright colors there. 
And In this place there dwelt a fairy queen 
As warm as rose, fairer than pearls are fair. 

And there Is one who sits beneath the rain 
Amid a grove of dripping willow trees. 
A golden harp is placed across her knees 

[113] 



THE RHYME OF THE LOST ROMANCE 

From which she draws a lUting low refrain. 

And it is said men seek her for release 

From broken hearts made dark with fear and 

pain, 
And when she plays melody brings them peace. 



In Proserpine realm where mortals fell 

A maiden sits clear eyed among the flame 

And hears them speak whose souls are sick with 

shame, 
Who came from earth to her enthroned in hell. 
She hears and smiles and holds to them a bowl 
That drips with waters from her sacred well, 
And when they drink visions reclaim each soul. 



In Chalmodie there moves a living dream, 
A maiden whom the hungry heart may seek, 
And when you kiss her lips the tree tops speak 
And night comes on and all the heavens gleam 
With dancing stars that bring the mortal sleep 
As o'er his face her golden tresses stream. 
And murmur trees, tender in tone and deep. 

[114] 



THE RHYME OF THE LOST ROMANCE 

Where Ariadne sits a long green wave 
Laughs In the sun and leaps against the rocks. 
Red are the maiden's lips and wet her locks, 
Her watching eyes with wonderment are grave. 
" Alone and lost. Alone and lost are you," 
Intones the wind that moves within her cave 
As thus she sits, watching a sea of blue. 

A lover lost Is somewhere on the sea 

With purple sails aslant against the sky. 

" Ever away from you," the sea gulls cry. 

*' Love of mine return once more to me. 

** Round are my waiting arms and red my lips," 

The maiden cries, and silence takes her plea 

As thus she waits, scanning the sea for ships. 

Among the pines a pool looks to the skies 

And in this pool a lovely maiden swims. 

With flashing arms and smooth foam gathered 

limbs 
And shakes the laughing jewels from her eyes. 
At last the dusk comes on, the woods grow cool 
And fair upon the green the maiden lies, 
Her golden hair floating upon the pool. 

C115] 



THE RHYME OF THE LOST ROMANCE 

The evening sun lies lightly on the leaves 

And gives the quiet woods a yellow sheen. 

The still white body lying on the green 

Moves lazily and dreamily perceives 

The lofty trees through which faint shadows fall 

As Night her web of drifting starlight weaves, 

And then she laughs, hearing a distant call. 

A twilight glow falls through the craggy ice 
And lights the emerald splendor of a glade 
Wherein there stands a stately green clad maid 
Who bears a jeweled wand of rare device. 
Across the purple sky soft colors stir 
As through the deep her summons echoes thrice 
And white forms leap out of the foam to her. 

The loveliness of merriment Is there 
Within the still white vistas of the North, 
Where maidens dip their hands in ocean froth 
In search of gems to cluster In their hair, 
Which splash the cave with wildly dancing light 
And fall on flashing arms and bosoms bare 
As thus they dance, tossing away the night. 

[ii6] 



THE RHYME OF THE LOST ROMANCE 

But why go on? There is none who believes 

The things I say were ever really true. 

It would be nice, I think, and so do you, 

To find the haunts a vagrant fancy weaves. 

Alone is man at best, and bound to earth, 

And so in solitude his soul conceives 

Such idle tales, knowing their fragile worth. 



C117] 



WONDER REFOUND 

ER wondering eyes were lit with dreaming 
blue 
When she was young, that is, before she knew. 



blue 



And when one day she knew, the wonder fled — 
Her blue eyes burned with other things instead 

That were not dreams. You would not have sup- 
posed 

They'd once been sweet to look on. Now theyVe 
closed. 

But just before they closed, her dreams of youth 
Flamed through the fading blue and found the 
truth. 

This much I know. For when at last she smiled, 
Her eyes held all the wonder of a child. 



[ii8] 



MY WAYWARD GODDESS 

MY wayward goddess, banished from on 
high, 
You must have brushed the sunset in your flight 
And drawn its glowing colors from the sky 
And all the splendor of the stars at night. 
Which clustered in your lips and hair and eyes 
And clung to your fair body as you fell, 
A scarlet poppy through the saffron skies ■ — 
Some god had made and loved you all too well. 
Ah, lovely outcast, lawless in your love. 
How lightly your white feet caress life's mire. 
Your feet that fled star-littered paths above 
Before the fury of a god's desire 
And came to earth in glorious retreat 
Where, Love, I stooped and kissed your wayward 
feet. 



[119] 



DAWN IN THE WARD 

KINDLY balm to tired eyes, 
Heavy hearts and bodies numb, 
Peace that floods the eastern skies, 
At last you come. 

Shafts of gold across the gloom. 
Pillows of the weary mind, 

Fresh and fragrantly you bloom, 
And cool and kind. 

Slowly now the long grim drain 
Leaves the body weak and still. 

Thirsty eyes made bright with pain 
See light and thrill. 

All along the aching line 

Hope returns to hopeless hearts. 
Cots emerge and glasses shine 

As pain departs. 

[120] 



DAWN IN THE WARD 

Carts and drays go rolling past, 
Paves awake and sparrows sing, 

Traffic clangs — the day at last 
Breaks comforting. 

Distant domes and spires appear, 
Water tanks and mounting roofs, 

Hucksters call and one can hear 
The clip of hoofs. 

Gone the silence of the night, 
Brighter now the glowing skies. 

Faint and gaunt and ghastly white 
The long ward sighs. 

One that moaned the deep night through 
Wipes the sweat from off his brow. 

Whispers, and his lips are blue, 
" I'm better now." 

Whispers as his broken frame 

Sinks into a cool repose. 
Gone the fever and the flame, 

His eye-lids close. 

[I2I] 



DAWN IN THE WARD 

Pallid souls with faces drawn, 

Masks that pain has furrowed deep, 

Wanly smile and bless the dawn, 
Then fall asleep. 

Sleep in peace and throb no more, 
Children of a tortured night; 

See, the sun spills on the floor, 
The day is bright. 

Through the dawn in golden bands. 
All the mothers that have died, 

Now return with dew-cooled hands 
And stand beside 

Cots wherein the sick ones lie. 
Bringing them a swift release 

From the region of the sky. 
And sleep and peace. 

Gone the stalking night alarm. 
Gone the heavy heart's distress; 

Gentle as a rose and calm — 
The dawn's caress. 

St. Vincent's Hospital, 
October, igi8. 

[122] 



T 



TO A NEW DAY 

HERE Is no sound In dreams, but yet I heard 
The Hquld fluting of a distant bird, 



And though I could not see the sky, I knew 
That there were clouds In It and It was blue. 

A vagrant sunbeam moved across the sheet 
And licked my wrist with unaccustomed heat. 

And through the window stole a faint perfume 
That spoke of peach and apple trees in bloom. 

Like petals caught in sweet shrub-scented rain, 
Familiar songs long lost, returned again. 

The shadows fell away like things of lead 
As golden shafts of light caressed my bed 

And fluttered gently there until they met. 
I smiled and touched my cheek and It was wet. 

[123] 



THE CALL 

LOVE, I am ready now 
To hear thy call. 
All that I am art thou, 
And thou my all. 



[124] 



TWILIGHT WATERS 

TWILIGHT waters, evening sky, 
Deep tranquility, 
Shafts of sun that flush and die 
On a darkling sea, 
Mist scarfs wavering far away 
Through the ebbing light, 
Shadows drape the dying day, 
Swift wings flee the night. 



[125] 



LEAVES 

BROWN leaves and gold, 
Gold leaves and red, 
The woods are cold 

And the trees have shed 
Brown leaves and gold, 
Gold leaves and red. 

Bleak skies were bright 
When leaves were green, 

Swift falls the night, 
And the wind is keen ; 

Sad hearts were light 
When leaves were green. 

Brown leaves and gold, 
Gold leaves and red. 

The woods are old 

And the joy has fled — 

Brown leaves and gold, 
Gold leaves and dead. 

[126] 



THREE TREES 

THREE little trees 
In the brisk summer breeze, 

Family of fir were they, 
Swayed to and fro 
In a gay little row 

Locking their arms in their play. 
And the crickets that sang 
When the vesper bells rang 

And the frogs with the queer crooked knees 
Sported and played 
In the checker board shade 

Of the three little, gay little trees. 



[127] 



BENEATH THE. RAIN 

I STOOD beside a tree beneath the rain 
And as I stood I thought how lone and small 
Was I and how that tree was great and tall 
And bound to earth till I had lived again; 
And thinking thus I felt a trill of pain 
Which made me gaze across the voiceless night 
In search of some faint gleam, some kindly light, 
To guide my feet. I searched the night in vain. 
There was no light and so I turned away 
And moved beneath the rain across the sod 
Alone that night and cried aloud to God 
To send the day. 



[128] 



DERELICTS 

THEY have fallen low, 
Tasted the dregs of things, 
Honor and shame forgotten, 
All that was clean and good. 
Like birds In a dismal wood. 
Beating with broken wings 
In a night that Is hell begotten, 
In a night that will never go, 
They have fallen there and they know 
That the woods will always remain. 
The woods of terrible night. 
The woods of terrible pain, 
Where the broken are stayed in their flight. 
Never to mount again 
The cloud lanes of the sky 
To the silver lawns of the sun. 
They are broken, they cannot fly, 
They know that their flight is done. 



[129] 



I 



BY WAY OF REPROOF 

N God's great, deep, imponderable laws 
'Twas writ that thou shouldst have gigantic 
paws, 



And it was further writ in slabs of stone 

That thou shouldst love, above all things, a bone. 

Thou art, indeed, a mystery dog to me. 
Thy silly face seems honest, frank and free 

From subterfuge, but yet with mine own eyes 
I've seen thee chew a dog but half thy size 

And steal rare dishes from our saintly cook; 
In fact, it seems there's naught thou wouldst not 
hook 

To satisfy thy vulgar appetite. 

Thou raisest too much moan, oh, dog, at night. 

[130] 



BY WAY OF REPROOF 

Thou canst not sleep with me, I tell thee now, 
Thou art too large, thou great, ungainly cow. 

Remember, pray, how thou hast been " brought- 

up"; 
Thou art no longer now a puling pup. 

Hast thou but small regard for man's esteem, 
No spark of honor left, no feeble gleam? 

Art thou a pirate dog, a Bolshevist? 
Roll not thy goggle eyes at me and twist 

Thy large, expressive rump — we are not friends 
'Till thou hast made to me complete amends. 

Why didst thou eat my brave maroon cravat^ 
I ask thee frankly, dog, why didst thou that? 

What hellish impulse made thee choose my bed 
For thy repose and splash across the spread 

The tell-tale tracks of thy great muddy feet; 
Was that quite fair, was that refined or sw^eet? 

[131] 



BY WAY OF REPROOF 

Oh, yes; my slippers, too, I quite forgot. 
Thou filched those slippers, dog, come, didst thou 
not? 

I have not seen my slippers for a week 
What lies thy tongue would tell if thou couldst 
speak! 

I give thee comforts, luxuries, a name 
Which thou hast linked with horrid deeds of 
shame. 

Thou art the scandal of the countryside, 
Thou low, carousing dog, bereft of pride. 

Go, quit my sight, and try to mend thy ways; 
I cannot stand thy moist, adoring gaze. 



[132] 



THE TRUCKSTERS 

I LOVE the trucksters' voices 
Outside my humble door. 
When Dawn alone rejoices 

I love to hear them roar. 
They wake me in the morning 

With a wild Homeric oath, 
And I rise, all slumber scorning, 

For I cannot be a sloth 
When I hear the voice of trucksters 

Booming forth at break of day. 
Oh, I love the voice of trucksters. 

And the violent things they say. 



[^331 



THE OLD BRICK WALK 

THEY planted purple violets here before the 
bricks were laid, 
And later when the spring tide came and all the 

world grew fair, 
The violets struggled through the chinks the swol- 
len earth had made 
And gave the drowsy fragrance of their petals 
to the air. 

All this was very long ago, and those who placed 
the seed 
Have lain these years behind the hedge in shrub 
embowered gloom. 
Forgotten is the garden now beneath the grass 
and weed. 
But still upon the blood red bricks the purple 
violets bloom. 

The garden is a silent place alive with hidden 
things, 

[134] 



THE OLD BRICK WALK 

And sometimes on the old brick walk there 

squats a great green toad. 
Occasionally a lazy bird bestirs itself and sings, 
While from afar an ancient cart comes creaking 

down the road. 

This old lost spot I now behold through disillu- 
sioned eyes. 
The mound that once a mountain was Is scarce 
a fairy hill, 
And all my lovely vista-glades In mystery and 
size 
Have shrunk, yet on the crumbling bricks the 
violets cluster still. 



[135] 



THE OUT ROAD 

WHEN I have gone away and left behind 
Familiar things well loved, old haunts and 
friends, 
Let those who think of me In friendship find 

Gay colored thoughts as when the sunset sends 
Across the quiet dusk Its parting rays 

And leaves a promise glowing in the sky 
Of brighter days to come, far brighter days. 
And memories of golden days gone by. 

So would I have them think of me and hear 
The echoes of my laughter and my song 

Across the tranquil twilight ringing clear, 
As merrily I take my way along 

The winding road, until at last I rest 

Beneath green trees where comrades laugh and 
jest. 



[136] 



THE QUEST 

I'M going out to dig for beauty with my bare, 
bare hands. 
I'm going to dig the soil and scoop the singing 

sands 
And scratch among the rocks and roots and wade 

through mire and mud. 
I'm going out to dig until my hands are quick with 
blood. 
I'm going out to touch beauty, 
See beauty, 
Live beauty, 
I'm going out' to look for beauty and dream of 
it no more. 

I've made a hunting park of beauty, stocked with 

fat, drab birds. 
I've sallied forth in search of It and bagged a 

brace of words. 
I've sought to tame It In a rhyme and snare it in 

a phrase 

[137] 



THE QUEST 

Of clever unreality that critics damned with praise. 
I'm going out to touch beauty, 
See beauty, 
Live beauty, 
I'm going out to look for beauty and dream of It 
no more. 

I've had my fill of lamp lit salons with their green 

jade talk. 
Where women bare their burning souls, and poets 

slouch and stalk. 
The coffee cup and candle light, I've had enough 

of these. 
I long to tread where silence is and solitude and 

trees. 
I'm going out to touch beauty, 
See beauty, 

Live beauty, 
Vm going out to look for beauty and dream of it 

no more. 

I'm going out to look for beauty in the hearts of 
men 

[138] 



THE QUEST 

Wherever it may chance to be In palace, hedge or 

den, 
To labor and carouse with them and share the 

common weal. 
To laugh and love and lose with them and feel the 

things they feel. 
I'm going out to touch beauty. 
See beauty. 

Live beauty, 
Fm going out to look for beauty and dream of it 

no more. 



[139]